Re: [Usability] Faded File Extensions

On Sat, 2005-12-31 at 10:19 +1300, Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
> On 26 Dec, 2005, at 5:15 PM, Jason Hoover wrote:
> > ...
> > Somewhere between hiding the extensions and making them visible to
> > rename them, is just hiding them until the user decides to rename the
> > file, putting the cursor before the extension. (Which, I think may be
> > what Apple does, but I didn't remember that until after I wrote it.)
> > ...
> AppleWorks and Microsoft Office for Mac both preselect "untitled" but 
> not the file extension for overwriting in their default filenames 
> ("untitled.cwk", "untitled.doc", and so on). That's the most similar 
> behavior I know of to what you describe. But clicking on a filename in 
> the Finder selects the entire filename for overwriting, including the 
> extension if it's visible.

Hiding the extension is not always useful. I often need to know, if an
image is a jpg or a png, or -- even more important -- maybe even an svg.
All these have a preview and I very much appreciate that.
So I'd think that hiding the extension should be an option which is on
by default, just like it is on win or mac. If the extension is hidden,
the tooltip should show the extension and the sniffed file type.

As for renaming it should just work as it does right now. I love this
behaviour! The extension should be shown but not selected, now matter if
showing extensions is turned on or off.

> The Finder has a "Show all file extensions" preference that is off by 
> default, the converse of Windows Explorer's "Hide extensions for known 
> file types" option that is on by default. Regardless of this setting, 
> however, "deleting" the extension from the filename hides the extension 
> but does not actually delete it. (I don't know where the "hide this 
> file's extension" flag is stored.)
> If you add an extension to a file that already has one, you get an 
> alert of the form "Are you sure you want to change the extension from 
> “.PDF” to “.gif”?" with the default button being "Keep .PDF". This 
> happens even if the previous extension was hidden, which can be very 
> confusing. And if you add an extension to a file that doesn't already 
> have one, you get an alert of the form "Are you sure you want to add 
> the extension “.gif” to the end of the name?" with the default button 
> being "Don't Add". If you go ahead with either of these actions, of 
> course, you make the file practically unopenable.

I really hate this alert. The interface should clarify, that renaming
the extension is usually not what you want to do. Hence only the name
should be selected. It should warn you about not having any extension.
The dialogue should be OK-> use no extension, Cancel -> reedit the name,
Use old extension -> uses the extension the file had before.

> In short, it's hack upon confirmation alert upon hack, and a shining 
> example of why you shouldn't use file extensions to indicate filetype.

Sometimes the user does though, as indicated above.


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